Priyanka Being Called the ‘Trade’ of ‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Had a Special Meaning for the Winner

As the first winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race spinoff, Canada’s Drag Race, Priyanka is one of the most popular figures of the year. In a recent interview, the drag queen talked about what it means for queens of color to win the top prizes in the franchise this year.

Priyanka | Bell Media/Crave

Priyanka on ‘Canada’s Drag Race’

Priyanka didn’t necessarily have the best track record the rest of Canada’s Drag Race top 3, but still, it was clear that she was a true contender to be Canada’s next drag superstar, if not the contender. Before landing on the show, Priyanka, whose real name is Mark “Suki” Suknanan, was a children’s host on Canadian television. He had only been doing drag for two years prior to being on the show. Right before heading on the show, Suki had still been pulling double duty on television and the drag circuit.

In season 1, Priyanka won two main challenges. She also placed high in another challenge and had two bottom two placements. Both times she was in the bottom, she earned rave responses for her lip-syncs. First, she was up against Kiara when they performed to Celine Dion’s “I Drove All Night.” The next time, she was matched up with Ilona Verley, performing Allie X’s “Hello.” She was also one of the season’s biggest comedy queens, even though her performance as Miss Cleo during snatch game was not that good.

Rita Baga was once the frontrunner, winning three challenges. Meanwhile, Scarlett Bobo never placed low and won one challenge. Still, Priyanka edged out the win, capturing attention on the show and in general.

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The ‘Canada’s Drag Race’ winner talks about the importance of representation in this space

In a recent interview with Gay Times, Priyanka talked about comprising of what she called the “Melanin Dynasty” with RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6 winner Shea Coulee and RuPaul’s Drag Race season 12 winner, Jaida Essence Hall. Since Priyanka’s win, Envy Peru has now won Drag Race Holland, making the year even more diverse. All of these wins, including Heidi N Closet at season 12 of the flagship show’s Miss Congeniality, proves why representation is so important.

“Everything’s pretty saturated with white people,” she explained. I think the best example that I have is, before I was a drag queen, I would walk into a gay bar and no one would look at me. White guys would just be hitting on white guys. Our skin colour wasn’t seen as attractive.”

She continued, “Going into Canada’s Drag Race, I would get called the ‘trade’ of the season, which is usually a big joke. But for me, as a scrawny little Brown boy being called ‘trade’, it makes the queer POC’s out there feel like they can walk into these queer spaces and feel desired and sought after. We aren’t seen as equals, but we are, and we are successful and we are sexy.”

While Canada’s Drag Race hasn’t officially been renewed for a second season, it is expected to return in 2021. The full first season can be streamed in the United States on WOW Presents Plus.